Plane Crash

Ambulances gather at the old Georgia State Patrol post in Thomson, Ga., near the scene of a plane crash Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2012. An aviation official says a small jet with seven people aboard ran off the end of the runway and crashed at the Thomson-McDuffie County Airport. (AP Photo/The Augusta Chronicle, Todd Bennett)

Todd Bennett

Federal and local authorities were investigating Thursday after a small jet crashed off the end of a runway at a Georgia airport, killing five people and injuring two.

The plane overran a runway during its landing and crashed into woods at the airport west of Augusta, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement Thursday morning.

Two survivors were taken to area hospitals in eastern Georgia after the Hawker Beechcraft 390/Premier I crashed shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thomson-McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall said.

One of the survivors, a man, was in critical condition at Georgia Regents Medical Center in Augusta, hospital spokeswoman Christen Carter said Thursday.

Where the other injured person was taken, as well as that person's condition, were not immediately known.

The identities of those killed were being withheld until family members were notified, the sheriff said.

The plane with seven people aboard had departed from John Tune Airport in Nashville, Tenn., Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said. It was on its way to the Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport, about 30 miles west of Augusta, when it crashed there, she said.

NTSB investigators from Washington were on their way to the crash scene Thursday morning, the agency said.

Bodies of the five people who died have been taken to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation lab in Decatur for autopsies, GBI spokesman John Bankhead said Thursday.

Assistant County Fire Chief Stephen Sewell told the Augusta Chronicle that the two survivors were a pilot and a passenger. But he provided no additional information about those aboard.

A brush fire flared near the crash scene, and witnesses reported power outages that prompted a utility to send workers to the site, the newspaper reported.

The airport is the largest general aviation facility in the Central Savannah River Area — a 13-county region in east Georgia and western South Carolina, according to the airport's website. It serves Augusta, Thomson and the Reynolds Plantation/Lake Oconee Resort area.